Muralist Mona Caron Creates PUBLIC Art Bike for CalBike

January 3rd, 2017

SF-based muralist, Mona Caron’s work is inspirational on a global level. Her murals have helped raise awareness for indigenous women in central Quito, Ecuador, represented strength and resilience in the form of an oversized weed mural in São Paulo, Brazil and graced a well-ridden bike path closer to PUBLIC’s home in San Francisco, California. That’s… Read more »

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mona caron art bike

The Mona Caron dandelion bike. Photo by Orange Photography.

SF-based muralist, Mona Caron’s work is inspirational on a global level. Her murals have helped raise awareness for indigenous women in central Quito, Ecuador, represented strength and resilience in the form of an oversized weed mural in São Paulo, Brazil and graced a well-ridden bike path closer to PUBLIC’s home in San Francisco, California. That’s why we were honored to provide the “canvas” (in the form of our PUBLIC V7 bike) for an art bike recently designed by Caron and commissioned by the California Bike Coalition (Cal Bike).

We’re featuring the Cal Bike interview (original here) with Caron in full below that describes her inspiration behind the art bike, as well as beautiful images of the bike taken by Orange Photography.

mona caron art bike

The Mona Caron dandelion bike. Photo by Orange Photography.

mona caron art bike

The Mona Caron dandelion bike. Photo by Orange Photography.

The below interview with Mona Caron is by Jenn Guitart, published on 10/11/16 on calbike.org.

CalBike: Why did you choose to use the dandelion on this art bike?

Mona Caron: I like to use botanical metaphors to describe other things, especially the dynamics of social transformation. The botanical metaphor absolutely applies to the bicycle movement. I remember in the early days of Critical Mass, when I was very involved with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, we were seeing more and more bicyclists appearing on the streets of San Francisco. It felt like this simple idea, a simple act anyone could do, was quietly spreading like seeds, and germinating city-wide.

Each social bike ride in the early days was like blowing the seeds of a dandelion puff: I swear, after each ride we’d notice more bike riders in the city. Like a dandelion seed, a single bicyclist in the city is a fragile, small, lightweight, quiet thing; but many people choosing to ride bikes can germinate powerful, paradigm-shifting changes.

Taken individually, each decision to ride a bike doesn’t seem like a big deal, but collectively it can really fundamentally change a city, change our assumptions about public space, our sense of possibility of what a convivial, human-scale city could look like. Just like a dandelion cracks the concrete, bicycling could change our society.

mona caron art bike

The Duboce Bikeway Mural by Mona Caron. (Photo by Lars Howlett)

CalBike: Your first mural, the Duboce Bikeway Mural, is well-known to anyone who rides a bike in San Francisco. How do you see your work as fitting in with the bike advocacy movement?

Caron: When I started riding a bike and became friends with SF’s bike advocates and instigators, I started designing posters to try and entice more people to ride bikes and join social rides. I drew some in a fake-antique psychedelic art-nouveau style, as if urban bicycling was a time-honored thing, and some of my images got picked up and reused all over the world as the Critical Mass movement spread from SF to hundreds of cities worldwide. My bike-related artwork has been featured in publications of and about the bike movement on four continents.

More recently, I’ve been working on my mural and stop-motion animation project WEEDS, and I’ve been making artwork for the climate justice movement, where I’ve also used the dandelion metaphor. The idea is to sow resistance and spread alternatives, in a gentle but powerful way, just like these wild plants do in urban environments.

I attended and gave presentations at several World Bicycle Forums in recent years. In Porto Alegre, Brazil, we painted a dandelion mural, then rode around town disseminating its seeds, painting each seed puff carrying a tiny little bicicletinha, a little bicycle. We stenciled these little bicycle-seeds all over the city on allies’ walls, to spread the idea.

mona caron art bike

The Mona Caron dandelion bike. Photo by Orange Photography.

CalBike: You’ve mentioned the dandelion as a symbol of hope.

Caron: Yes, hope in the sense of a visualization of the dynamics of change. You know, It’s kind of hard to imagine some sudden big revolution changing the world and solving all our problems, and I doubt the changes we need will ever come that way, nor magically delivered by some illuminated politician we elect. Rather, I see things can and will shift through an increasing multitude of small-scale but widespread life-affirming acts, finding the cracks in the system and pushing them open, like dandelions do.

Sometimes our harsh reality feels like cement: it seems to be something so permanent, so hard, seemingly unchangeable. And yet all it takes is a little fissure, and somebody somewhere planting something different in it, doing something alternative, to start its breakdown. Because anything we do, you can bet we are not the only ones doing it. And if it is something life-affirming, and you spread it around, many will join in. So when you get on your bicycle, you know you’re riding with a collective force that will bring more oxygen to this world, literally and metaphorically.

I designed this bike to be a reminder of that.

Must Love Dogs & Bicycles

December 14th, 2016

PUBLIC Bikes Holiday 2016 – #chompersthecorgi from PUBLIC Bikes on Vimeo. If you follow PUBLIC closely, it’s no secret that we love dogs at PUBLIC. For many people, a bicycle can be similar to a favorite dog – a trusted companion to journey through life’s experiences and help you see the world differently. We’ve featured… Read more »

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PUBLIC Bikes Holiday 2016 – #chompersthecorgi from PUBLIC Bikes on Vimeo.

If you follow PUBLIC closely, it’s no secret that we love dogs at PUBLIC.

For many people, a bicycle can be similar to a favorite dog – a trusted companion to journey through life’s experiences and help you see the world differently.

We’ve featured many fun photos of dogs and bicycles on our Paws & Pedals site.

And we sell this very useful Basil Pasja Pet Bike Basket that attaches perfectly on our PUBLIC rear racks. We also recommend this Basil Pasja Wire Dome that fits with the Basil Pasja Pet Bike Basket.

We’ve also hosted several pet adoption events at our PUBLIC retail stores with local groups like L.A. Love & Leashes, Best Friends Animal Society – Los Angeles, No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA), and Seattle Humane.

And if you bring your dog to any of our stores, you’ll likely find special treats for your dog from our friends at Honest Kitchen.

One of our favorite dog moments was when the inimitable Buddy Boo was photographed next to our PUBLIC Mini kids balance bike.

Lately, we’ve loved working with Chompers the Corgi. Our Holiday campaign this year included lots of Chompers enjoying our various PUBLIC bicycle accessories.

If you and your dog are interested in collaborating with PUBLIC, or you’re interested in hosting a dog-related event at one of our stores, reach out to us.

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Special Holiday Treats & Deals in All PUBLIC Stores

December 7th, 2016

All PUBLIC retail stores in San Francisco, Santa Monica, and Seattle are hosting special events, offering treats, and in-store only deals for customers shopping for holiday gifts for themselves and their loved ones. Every weekend in December, each of our PUBLIC stores are brewing up either hot spiced cider or hot cocoa to keep you… Read more »

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All PUBLIC retail stores in San Francisco, Santa Monica, and Seattle are hosting special events, offering treats, and in-store only deals for customers shopping for holiday gifts for themselves and their loved ones.

Every weekend in December, each of our PUBLIC stores are brewing up either hot spiced cider or hot cocoa to keep you warm! Whether you’re out for a bike ride -or- looking for a bike to go on a ride, we’ve got a warm cuppa deliciousness for you here in the shop. There’s chocolate bars (oh so delicious chocolate bars…) for the first 10 people who take our bikes out on a test spin on the December 10th & 11th, and then again on the December 17th & 18th. Rumor has it there’s plenty of candy canes, too.

Click on links below for individual store activities, along with holiday hours:

PUBLIC Seattle
501 E. Pine Street
(206) 973-2434

Seattle Store Hours
Monday – Saturday: 11:00am – 7:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am – 6:00pm
Dec. 24: 11:00am – 4:00pm
Dec. 25: Closed Christmas Day

PUBLIC Santa Monica
2714 Main Street
(424) 221-5209

Santa Monica Store Hours
Monday – Saturday: 11:00am – 7:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am – 6:00pm
Dec. 24: 11:00am – 4:00pm
Dec. 25: Closed Christmas Day

PUBLIC San Francisco
549 Hayes Street
(415) 688-4000

SF Store Hours
Monday – Saturday: 11:00am – 7:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am – 6:00pm
Dec. 24: 11:00am – 4:00pm
Dec. 25: Closed Christmas Day

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Profiles in Bicycling: People Inspiring Us

November 22nd, 2016

In a post-election blog post, we asked “Where is the Love?” The answer can be found in everyday people whose work helps others or whose lives are inspirations for the simple joys of living or the dignity of hard work. Here are a few people on bikes who inspired us when we heard their stories…. Read more »

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In a post-election blog post, we asked “Where is the Love?”

The answer can be found in everyday people whose work helps others or whose lives are inspirations for the simple joys of living or the dignity of hard work.

Here are a few people on bikes who inspired us when we heard their stories. Some of these stories are a few years old, but they are a testament to the power of the bicycle and their inspirational stories endure.

Elena Galvez

Even self-avowed bike enthusiasts often back out of their daily two-wheel commutes when they’re feeling tired or lazy. That’s not an option for Elena Galvez, who has commuted by bike for over four decades. Galvez wouldn’t think of abandoning her commuter bike; she refers to it as her companion. She believes that biking is the secret to a long and happy life, and at 90 years old, she clearly knows what she’s talking about!

Monica Busby

Getting back on a bike after recovering from cancer is no easy task, but riding across the country is another thing altogether. Monica Busby decided to do her part for the homeless population by riding from New Jersey to Oregon in support of the Fuller Foundation. Busby believes that she survived cancer for a reason — to bring hope to those with nowhere to call home.

Carl Georg Rasmussen

Carl Georg Rasmussen is no ordinary biker. He’s been racking up thousands of miles per year on his city bike for a long, long time, and at over 80, he shows no signs of quitting. Before he made a name for himself as an octogenarian biker, he built the revolutionary Leitra, a three-wheeled velomobile designed to provide comfort above and beyond what a typical urban bike can deliver. Whether he’s toying with Leitra designs or exploring the world by bike, his zest for life is even more evident now than it was when his velomobile first took the world by storm.

Palisades Building Bike-Friendly Communities

November 21st, 2016

PUBLIC has worked with several leading real estate firms and developers to support more bicycle-friendly, walkable communities. As more people move from the suburbs for denser urban living, the housing market is responding by offering bicycles amenities to meet consumer preferences for more varied mobility choices. Owning a car can feel like more of a… Read more »

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PUBLIC has worked with several leading real estate firms and developers to support more bicycle-friendly, walkable communities. As more people move from the suburbs for denser urban living, the housing market is responding by offering bicycles amenities to meet consumer preferences for more varied mobility choices. Owning a car can feel like more of a liability and headache for many urban residents, especially when so many public transit, bicycle, walking, and ride share options are readily available.

We’re proud to work with Palisades, a Los Angeles-based real estate firm known for innovative design that enhance the built environment, to provide custom European-inspired bicycles for homeowners to enjoy their two newly debuted properties’ bike-friendly neighborhoods and live a true California lifestyle. In addition, these two properties, AIRE Santa Monica and The Liddel in Westwood, will feature amenities that include a designated bike room for tune ups and storage. Both of these properties encourage residents to make a connection with nature, the surrounding neighborhood and reduce their carbon footprint via their new step-through, Dutch-style PUBLIC bikes.

We encourage people to take a close look at these properties and why they’re making bicycles an important feature.

AIRE Santa Monica

AIRE Santa Monica is comprised of a boutique collection of 19 purposefully designed residences that capture the unique coastal lifestyle of Santa Monica. The intelligent, open-concept design envisioned by JFAK Architects accentuates light and space and enables an effortless connection between indoor and outdoor living. All residences include generous outdoor living spaces ranging up to 800 square feet, a rare offering in the Santa Monica condominium market.

The property boasts a spacious communal courtyard with casual lounging areas, peaceful water features and a green living wall. Conveniently and centrally located on 14th Street, residents will be able to easily take advantage of all Santa Monica has to offer including world-class dining, cultural, entertainment and shopping, all just a short stroll or bike ride away.

The Liddel

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The newest addition to the Wilshire Corridor, The Liddel offers a boutique collection of 56 residences that provide an unexpected blend of classic sophistication and a refined contemporary aesthetic. Refreshingly modern shared amenity spaces are envisioned by renowned interior architect Jamie Bush, whose signature style offers a warm, authentic living environment.

The residences at The Liddel have been thoughtfully designed to provide a clean, open canvas that balances crisp, contemporary lines. Flexible floor plans within each residence type features generous living space. Select residences connect fluidly to private terraces and a variety of penthouses boast panoramic city views. With world-class amenities and one-of-a-kind communal spaces, including a magnificent rooftop with fireplace, lounge areas and BBQs, The Liddel offers an unrivaled lifestyle experience in one of Los Angeles’s most sought-after neighborhoods.

Quoting the Election: Where is the love?

November 18th, 2016

Written by PUBLIC founder, Rob Forbes. Despair, a tough word to parade around, has been a frequent emotion throughout this election process and outcome. Shock, fear, anger, and resentment have been in the air as well, felt in red, blue, and purple states alike. We all despair over an election where, for the first time,… Read more »

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Written by PUBLIC founder, Rob Forbes.

Despair, a tough word to parade around, has been a frequent emotion throughout this election process and outcome. Shock, fear, anger, and resentment have been in the air as well, felt in red, blue, and purple states alike. We all despair over an election where, for the first time, both major political party candidates had significantly low approval rankings.

Rural red small town America has voted its despair at the loss of jobs, declining prospects for the future, fear of foreigners, and other reasons. Blue urban America despairs at the roll back of progressive principles, women’s rights, the environment, and more. No one can be truly happy. For the victors, the gratification is that the others did not win. Indeed, where is the love?

What transcends despair? Many things come to mind: music, beauty, nature, food, pets, friends, to name a few.

Our suggestion – go ride a bike.

Ride 100 miles to burn off the stress.

Ride into a small town and have a coffee or beer with people you do not know.

Ride to the country, forest, or beach to get close to the power and beauty of nature.

Ride a bike to a National Park and see what wonders can he had when we take care of your environment.

Ride to lower your own carbon footprint.

Ride with your child on the backseat and try to feels like a kid again.

Ride to get away from the persistent media blitz.

Ride to feel the sensation of independence, freedom, and empowerment.

Ride to someplace local where love and care are being shown, like your pet’s shelter. Take home a rescue dog or cat.

Ride now to be a part of your community, like our Do Public Good Project.

Ride in the future to a national event like the Million Women March in DC.

There are many unknowns right now, but this remains a fact: If we stand still we will fall over.

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
-Albert Einstein

Introducing The PUBLIC Bike Bag Collection

October 17th, 2016

It’s challenging to find just the right bag. Period. But it’s even more challenging to find just the right bike bag. That’s why we’re proud to introduce The PUBLIC Bag Collection. These bags are our solution to the problem of a day-to-night bike bag that, well, doesn’t look like a bike bag. There are plenty… Read more »

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new public bike bag

It’s challenging to find just the right bag. Period. But it’s even more challenging to find just the right bike bag. That’s why we’re proud to introduce The PUBLIC Bag Collection. These bags are our solution to the problem of a day-to-night bike bag that, well, doesn’t look like a bike bag.

new public bike bike carryall bag new public single bike bag pannier

There are plenty of technical bags on the market that you can load up for bike camping or torrential downpours. And we’re thankful for them. But those bags aren’t the ones you want to take into a meeting or theatre or restaurant. They can be cumbersome, and frankly, uncomfortable to try and squeeze between seats at the movies or tuck between the bar and your barstool. After so many years of awkward bag encounters, we knew it was time to fix this.

new public bike bag single pannier tote bag new public bike bag tote single pannier

We partnered with our friends at Detours to learn from their expertise in bag design and manufacturing, and for the past year we’ve been prototyping, testing, tweaking, and riding these bags all over San Francisco and Seattle. With feedback from our riders, we’ve come up with what we believe are the best looking bike bags that don’t look like bike bags.

Crafted of comfortable cotton canvas, these bags are built to look good and hold your stuff. There are interior laptop sleeves and thoughtful pockets to keep you organized. Plus, reflective details to keep you seen and waxed cotton bottoms for added durability.

new public bike bag single pannier tote bags

The Tote and the Carryall bags feature generous haul handles so you can easily carry them when off the bike. In fact, we’ll place a bet that while you’re toting these babies around town no one will guess they can attach to your bike’s rear rack with a simple click. We didn’t just design these bags to fit perfectly onto our PUBLIC bike racks (which they do), we tested them on every other rack we could find.

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We think these bags will become your new best friend (next to your bike). The kind of item you always wished you had and now will wonder, how was I ever managing before?

We created a few videos so you could get to know the bags better. Check them out below and then let us know, #whatsinyourPUBLICbag

PUBLIC TOTE SINGLE PANNIER

Go Bananas: PUBLIC Tote Single Pannier from PUBLIC Bikes on Vimeo.

PUBLIC CARRYALL SINGLE PANNIER

The Bag For All Occasions: The PUBLIC Carryall Single Pannier from PUBLIC Bikes on Vimeo.

PUBLIC HANDLEBAR POUCH

Love Is In The Bag: PUBLIC Handlebar Pouch from PUBLIC Bikes on Vimeo.

PUBLIC URBAN DOUBLE PANNIER

Clowning Around: The PUBLIC Urban Double Pannier from PUBLIC Bikes on Vimeo.

Wright Cycle Company Helped Fund Aviation Experiments

October 14th, 2016

Last year Pulitzer Prize author David McCullough published a book The Wright Brothers about Wilbur and Orville Wright. The book chronicles their extraordinary journey towards making their mark in aviation history. Not as well known is that the Wright brother were actual bike mechanics who had their own company called Wright Cycle Company during the… Read more »

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wright-cycle-co

Last year Pulitzer Prize author David McCullough published a book The Wright Brothers about Wilbur and Orville Wright. The book chronicles their extraordinary journey towards making their mark in aviation history.

Not as well known is that the Wright brother were actual bike mechanics who had their own company called Wright Cycle Company during the early bicycle boom. The money from their bicycle business – selling and repairing popular “safety bikes” like the Wright Cycle Company’s Van Cleves model that laid the foundation for our contemporary city bikes – helped fuel their other endeavors, including their aviation experiments.

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Here’s an excerpt from McCullough’s The Wright Brothers:

“[By 1892 the Wright brothers] had also taken up bicy­cling, and as Wilbur reported, they had lately headed off on a ‘run’ to the south, down the Cincinnati Pike, stopping at the County Fair Grounds to pump around the track several times. From there they continued on to Miamisburg up and over numerous steep hills to see the famous prehis­toric Adena Miamisburg Mound, largest of Ohio’s famous conical-shaped reminders of a vanished Native American civilization dating back more than two thousand years. In all they covered thirty-one miles.

“Bicycles had become the sensation of the time, a craze everywhere. (These were no longer the ‘high wheelers’ of the 1870s and ’80s, but the so-called ‘safety bicycles,’ with two wheels the same size.) The bicycle was proclaimed a boon to all mankind, a thing of beauty, good for the spirits, good for health and vitality, indeed one’s whole outlook on life. Doctors enthusiastically approved. One Philadelphia physician, writing in The American Journal of Obstetrics and Diseases of Women and Children, concluded from his observations that ‘for physical exercise for both men and women, the bicycle is one of the greatest inventions of the nineteenth century.’

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“Voices were raised in protest. Bicycles were proclaimed morally haz­ardous. Until now children and youth were unable to stray very far from home on foot. Now, one magazine warned, fifteen minutes could put them miles away. Because of bicycles, it was said, young people were not spend­ing the time they should with books, and more seriously that suburban and country tours on bicycles were ‘not infrequently accompanied by seductions.’

“Such concerns had little effect. Everybody was riding bicycles, men, women, all ages and from all walks of life. Bicycling clubs sprouted on college campuses and in countless cities and towns, including [the Wright brothers home town of] Dayton, [Ohio]. … In the spring of 1893 Wilbur and Orville opened their own small bicycle business, the Wright Cycle Exchange, selling and repairing bicycles only a short walk from the house at 1005 West Third Street. In no time, such was business, they moved to larger quarters down the street to Number 1034 and renamed the enterprise the Wright Cycle Company.”

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PUBLIC Sprout Gets A MoMA Shout

September 20th, 2016

We are extremely honored that the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City selected our PUBLIC Sprout V1 pedal kids bike to be part of their Fall 2016 product assortment. The MoMA is often identified as one of the largest and most influential museums of modern art in the world, and the design bar is extremely high… Read more »

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We are extremely honored that the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City selected our PUBLIC Sprout V1 pedal kids bike to be part of their Fall 2016 product assortment. The MoMA is often identified as one of the largest and most influential museums of modern art in the world, and the design bar is extremely high when it comes to the products they include in their store. So it’s pretty cool and flattering to see the Sprout V1 featured in their Fall 2016 Catalog along with so many other inventive, well-designed and fun products.

Our PUBLIC Sprout kids bikes follow the same design-oriented pedigree as our grown-up PUBLIC bikes. They boast great style with classic PUBLIC touches like painted-to-match fenders and chainguard, and color-coordinating, comfortable seat and grips. And in addition to good looks, this is a kids bike build with rough and tumble kids in mind. The durable steel frame, quality coaster brake and rust-free chain, means this stylish kids bike is built to last. To the park, to school or just around the block, the PUBLIC Sprout kids bike merges form with function and we’re so proud the MoMA thought so too!

Learn more about the Sprout V1.

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Epic Bike Rides of the World

September 15th, 2016

We’re pleased to announce that PUBLIC San Francisco in Hayes Valley will host author Nate Cavalieri to discuss the new Lonely Planet book Epic Bike Rides of the World. Join us for drinks, snacks, and inspiration for your next epic journey. This event is free and open to the public, but please RSVP so we… Read more »

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We’re pleased to announce that PUBLIC San Francisco in Hayes Valley will host author Nate Cavalieri to discuss the new Lonely Planet book Epic Bike Rides of the World.

Join us for drinks, snacks, and inspiration for your next epic journey. This event is free and open to the public, but please RSVP so we can prepare.

Where: PUBLIC San Francisco, 549 Hayes b/t Laguna and Octavia
When: 7-8pm, Thursday, Oct 20
What: Author Nate Cavalieri, who contributed to the North America’s Pacific Coast chapter, will share stories and photos of his favorite epic rides, including his own experiences riding the Tour de Afrique and China’s Wild West routes. And come meet other fellow dreamers and doers ready to plan their next adventure.

Please RSVP on Facebook. Also anyone who RSVPs using the Eventbrite ticket link and attends our October 20 event will be entered into a raffle to win a copy of Epic Bike Rides of the World.

Fall Foliage and the road in Vermont at Smugglers Notch.

Quiet roads and colourful leaves in Vermont in the book chapter Americas: The Covered Bridges of Vermont, © Naphat Photography / Getty Images

According to Lonely Planet, the world’s leading travel media company, Epic Bike Rides of the World will help readers “Discover 200 of the best places to ride a bicycle in this beautifully illustrated hardback. From easy-going, family-friendly rides and urban sightseeing routes to epic adventures off the beaten track, you don’t have to wear Lycra to see the world on two wheels. Inclusive, accessible and inspiring, the 200 rides feature 50 first-hand cycling stories and details of how to do the ride. Full-page photography, illustrations and maps add visual appeal. Destinations range from France, Spain and Italy, for the world’s great bike races, to the wilds of Mongolia and Patagonia.

The book is organized into regional chapters for rides in Africa, the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. Basic information about the best times of the year to plan a trip are included, as well as suggested places to starting places and routes.

Overview of Þingvellir National Park, Thingvallavatn.

Magical Thingvellir National Park in Iceland in book chapter Europe: Ring Rd, Iceland, © Gary Latham

At PUBLIC, we’re not just regular commuters and recreational cyclists. Our team has traveled by bike in diverse places such as Mongolia, Chile, Italy, Montana, and all over California. And we’ve also offered our own ideas in our blog post “A Beginner’s Guide: Top 5 Bike-Friendly Travel Destinations“.

We’re excited to meet fellow (aspiring) bike travelers and learn from Lonely Planet author Nate Cavalieri. Who knows…maybe we’ll plan a trip to Namaqualand to go flower viewing by bike.

Track through the blooming flowers in Namaqualand

Track through the blooming flowers in Namaqualand in the book chapter Africa: Tour d’Afrique, © Marie-Anne Aberson Meijers / Getty Images